Dede Alpert

Dede Alpert has been a leader in shaping education since 1983, beginning as a member of the Solana Beach School Board. For seven years she worked toward developing her community education system. In 1991, Alpert became a California Assemblywomen, a role she filled until 1996 when she was elected to the California State Senate. Alpert remained in the California Senate until 2004. In all, Dede Alpert served California in a legislative capacity for 14 years. Alpert is widely recognized as one of the California Legislature’s foremost advocates of public education. Alpert chaired multiple committees in both the California Assembly and Senate including: the Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Education; the Select Committee on Family; Child and Youth Development; and, maintained a standing committee assignment on the Committee on Education.  Dede Alpert also authored numerous bills and acts, including Assembly Bill 1114 of 1993, which allows parents to choose the public school that their children may attend; the California Assessment of Academic Achievement Act in 1995, which established a standardized test that would be distributed state wide and allow students, schools, and administrators a chance to compare their growth to other schools state-wide; the “ABC” Education Reform Package of 1995 requiring phonics, spelling, and essential math skills to be a part of the regular curriculum; and, the Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999, which utilized student performance on standardized tests as a measurement tool to evaluate the progress of schools. Alpert was instrumental in a four year process that created California’s Master Plan for Education. The Plan is a long-term, 20 year blueprint for California education, and recommends universal preschool, qualified teachers in every classroom, and the eventual requirement of all high school graduates to learn a second language. Dede Alpert’s legislation created the Quality Education Commission, which determines the spending needed to improve schools. She authored four bills that made six block grants from twenty two programs, which allowed more local management of funds and put control of education back into educational institutions, and two bills to help with the funding and renovation of public libraries. In 1998 she was honored twice for her contributions to education receiving the “Legislator of the Year” Award by the California State University system as well as being named the “Senator of the Year” by the California School Boards Association. In her own words, Alpert believes that, “Education is the key to democracy. Public education is what makes America what it is.” Dede Alpert continues to show relentless concern for the state of education in California. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Alpert to the Advisory Committee on Education Excellence, which will advise him on needed educational reforms. Dede Alpert’s impact on public education in California is truly extraordinary. Thus, Dede Alpert truly is a “Remarkable Leader in Education.”